We are really happy to help you plan your loved ones funeral. We hold services in the church and our ministers also conduct services in cremortoriums and cemetarys. The best thing is to get in touch with us or ask your funeral director to contact us.
Saying Goodbye - A funeral is used to mark the end of a person's life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. These
A can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church.
Some people find planning the funeral with family and friends helps in their grieving. Perhaps you already know something of what your loved one wanted. You may even have planned the service together some time ago.
If you are uncertain we can help you choose suitable readings, hymns and prayers. If we did not know your loved one well, we will want to talk with you to build up a picture of the person's life, this may take only one meeting but sometimes it can be more.
Some deaths will be especially traumatic, distressing or unexpected. The Church has special funerals for children, or after sudden or violent deaths, including suicide. Talk with us about what you want and about what is possible.
We will work with you to plan a service for your loved one, either in church or at the crematorium, at a graveside or at a combination of these places.
The service will follow a clear plan. The focus moves from earth to heaven as the service moves from greeting the mourners, to remembering the one who has died all the while asking for God's comfort and then committing your loved one into God's care.
Entry of the coffin
Traditionally, the minister meets the coffin at the door and leads it and the mourners in. The minister will say some reassuring words from the Bible.
Welcome and Introduction
After the welcome and first prayer, there may be a hymn or a tribute to the person who has passed away. This can be done . by family and friends or the minister. Sometimes symbols of the person's life are placed on or near the coffin as a part of this.
Sometimes there is a prayer for forgiveness. It's common to feel we have let a loved one down after they die, that there were things we could have done or should not have done. The prayer for forgiveness can help with these feelings.
Readings and sermon
A Psalm comes next, ' The Lord is my shepherd' is comforting because it speaks of God being with us in death and grief. The Bible readings focus on God's care and the hope of eternal life. The sermon speaks of the Christian hope of life beyond death and relates it to your loved one.
The funeral prayers recall the promise of the resurrection. They ask for God's presence with those who mourn and give thanks for your loved one's life. The prayers normally end with the Lord's Prayer.
Commendation, Farewell and Committal
The minister says a prayer to commend the person to God's love and mercy. Then the body is 'committed' for burial or cremation.
The committal prayer might be said in church, or at the graveside, or in a crematorium as the curtains close around the coffin. It will be a very emotional time, a clear 'Goodbye' to your loved one for this life.
In Christian tradition the funeral ends with a burial of either the coffin or ashes. If you have chosen a cremation you may bury the ashes in the churchyard, or use the crematorium's Garden of Remembrance. The ashes may be buried a few days after the funeral with a very brief service.
After the Service
In many cases, arranging a funeral keeps people so busy that they don't feel their loss fully until afterwards.
Grieving is natural and important, and it may take a long time. Many people find that others who have lost a loved one can offer valuable comfort and support. You may find the funeral services prayers and readings a comfort.
St Francis of Assisi church holds an annual memorial services to remember those who have passed away and you may find it helpful to attend.
We will also visit you after the funeral, if you would like, and offer on going pastoral support, or help to sign post you to bereavement services.